This is part two of the series Missions: To Haiti and Back. If you have not read part one, I encourage you to do so by clicking here! Meet me back here after you check out my previous post.
Going to Haiti was not something that I had planned to do. Never in a million years did I ever really consider traveling to Haiti. It was just too risky. The unknowns were too numerous to count and my anxiety level would surely go through the roof if I ever traveled to a vastly different culture.
No, no, traveling to Haiti was not on my agenda. I took comfort in the fact that I had my own comforts here in the United States while simultaneously being able to support those who were called overseas. But going to a third world country was not on my timeline.
Like I said before though, the call to Haiti came after a series of what I like to think of as “confirmations;” signs and messages that were too hard to ignore. But more on that in my next post, right now I’d like to pick up where I left off last time: the timing of my trip.
It wasn’t a goal of mine to immediately do a missions trip. I figured I’d need time to mature, grow in my faith, get more established in life etc. Within the next three years I’d be ready, but certainly not six months from January 2014!
Pretty silly now that I think about it. When do we ever have all our ducks in a row or are mature enough to travel to a third world country?! Nevertheless, my timeline was not God’s and ultimately His plans and purposes for our lives will prevail.
I remember that Sunday, less than a month after I read Kisses from Katie, that I saw the postings in our weekly church bulletin. Three missions trips were coming up in the summer and our church was looking for a team of people to go serve in one of three locations: Mexico, Haiti and Kenya. Something inside me stirred.
What if? I began to wonder.
What if I signed up for one of these trips? Is this where God is calling me? Could the timing of all this just be a coincidence? (NO WAY!)
I knew I couldn’t do Mexico as the timing of the trip would overlap with work and I couldn’t take time off in May. But Haiti and Kenya were during my summer vacation. My friend Maria was even leading the team in Kenya that July. She had been once before. Could God be asking me to go there? I tucked away these thoughts once again and prayed fervently for guidance.
Over the next few weeks or so, I began to feel the stirring more powerfully. It wasn’t something I could easily ignore. The thought of going to Haiti sat in my heart for quite some time. But the option of going to Kenya was there as well. How in the world would I choose? If God really was calling me to go, I did not want to make the wrong choice! It paralyzed me to think that I would. This decision was a massive leap of faith for me as I had never been on a missions trip in my entire life and I didn’t want to leap off the wrong foot from the start.
But not too long after my church put out the information about the opportunity to serve overseas, I ended up seeing my friend Maria after the service. She was leading a preliminary meeting for the Kenya trip at noon and couldn’t talk long as she was preparing to present. The meeting would be about the overview of what would happen in Kenya, where people were going to serve, financial commitments and other important details. Maria left pretty quickly for the conference room to prepare.
Non-coincidentally I bumped into another friend who was also interested in going to Kenya. She encouraged me to go to the meeting with her just to check it out. After much hesitation on my part, massive amounts of encouragement from more than one person and an open door (literally) I ended up sitting in on the meeting and gathering information about the Kenya medical missions. The meeting stirred me towards service, however I left the meeting knowing with even more of a stirring to travel to Haiti. While the trip to Kenya sounded amazing, something about it didn’t feel right to me and with that I had made my decision. The door to Kenya had actually closed for me and a different one was opening.
I hope you’ll come back soon to read the next post in this series Missions: To Haiti and Back.
Grace to you,